Summary: 20 July 2015, Brussels – Council conclusions on the action plan on human rights and democracy 2015 – 2019.
1. Welcoming the Joint Communication “Keeping human rights at the heart of the EU agenda”, as presented by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission, the Council adopts a new Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for the period 2015-2019. With this Action Plan, the Council reaffirms the European Union’s commitment to promote and protect human rights and to support democracy worldwide.
2. Based on the Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy and the 2012-2014 Action Plan, the European Union has made considerable progress in improving the impact and coherence of its actions on human rights and democracy. The EU has further developed guidelines on key human rights issues, enhanced the effectiveness of bilateral human rights and democracy work, successfully promoted action at the multilateral level, and improved the mainstreaming of human rights across the EU’s external action. The Council also welcomes the important work of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis, who greatly contributes to the effectiveness, coherence and visibility of EU human rights policy, and expresses full political support for his work.
3. Today’s complex crises and widespread violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms require ever more determined efforts by the EU. This Action Plan should enable the EU to meet these challenges through more focused action, systematic and co-ordinated use of the instruments at its disposal, and enhanced impact of its policies and tools on the ground. The EU will put special emphasis on ownership by, and co-operation with, local institutions and mechanisms, including national human rights institutions, as well as civil society. The EU will promote the principles of non-discrimination, gender equality and women’s empowerment. The EU will also ensure a comprehensive human rights approach to preventing and addressing conflicts and crises, and further mainstream human rights in the external aspects of EU policies in order to ensure better policy coherence, in particular in the fields of migration, trade and investment, development cooperation and counter terrorism.
- Read the full text of the Council conclusions and the action plan on human rights and democracy 2015 – 2019
- EU action plan on human rights and democracy – Statement
- Ref: EU15-301EN
- EU source:
- UN forum:
- Date: 20/7/2015